Usama bin Laden: Feelings, Reaction and Aftermath
I first heard the name of Usama bin Laden in 1996 at the home of a Saudi friend of mine. He showed me a magazine article featuring bin Laden and said in Saudi Arabia he was referred to as ‘’Sheikh Mujahid” because he was a pious man who was also a warrior for Islam.
During the 1990’s every time I heard his name it was in a positive light. Before jumping to conclusions as to why this is we should first put this into context. The Muslim Ummah has fallen from greatness and has been under siege for centuries. The Crusades, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism, Secularism, Globalism and the rule of corrupt Western-backed puppet regimes created the political climate bin Laden operated in.
Recognizing the weak state of the Arab and Muslim World various movements and organizations were founded to try and improve the status of the society. Some of those organizations were rooted in socialism, Baathism, nationalism, or tribalism to name a few. Under the tutelage of the likes of Muhammad Qutb and Abdullah Azzam bin Laden became part of a movement that sought to revive the Muslim Ummah based on the principals of piety and social justice rooted in islam.
Shunning nationalism and the privilege that his wealth provided a young and enthusiastic bin Laden headed to Pakistan to help with the effort of the Afghan mujahudeen fighting off the invaders of the Soviet Union. Many today, including a lot of Muslims, have ceded their minds to some kind of leftist narrative of the events of those days. However, to set the record straight, the mujahudeen were not a creation of the CIA, but rather a grassroots response within the Muslim ummah to Soviet aggression. Later on, out of mutual political interest, there was some level of cooperation between various parties. It had been just a few decades since the mass atrocities committed by the Soviet Union against the Muslim peoples of the Caucuses and the Soviet-controlled republics of Central Asia were brutally repressing their Muslim populations, so it was natural for Muslims to fight against the Soviet aggression.
Young Usama could have continued a life of comfort in his native Saudi Arabia and donated money; but he chose to go to the front line. It was in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he would become a leader of a global movement to remove oppression from the Muslim ummah and to restore the lands of Islam to the rule of Islam. He fought alongside Arabs and non-Arabs, blacks and whites, Salafis and Sufis, and he only asked for those who joined him to be committed to fighting the enemies of Islam and establishing the rule of Islam.
For religious and sincere Muslims that part of the life of bin Laden is not controversial and is heroic. Of course it was followed by his support for mujahudeen in Bosnia, Chechnya, the Philippines, Kashmir, and other places. People who were there on the ground in Bosnia have told me that if not for his organizational support many more Bosnians would have been killed.
This heroic phase of the life of bin Laden earned him a lot of love and respect in the Muslim World. Because, while he was doing these things, he also helped to organize a crucial gathering of Muslim leaders from all over the world in Sudan to develop a cohesive global strategy, organized a movement calling for the removal of the corrupt Saudi monarchy, and showed that Muslims could work together despite racial and ethnic differences.
The Controversy and Blunders
It was in the next few years when bin Laden would make some more controversial moves. As he joined hands with Egyptian Islamists such as Ayman Zawahiri who had been fighting the corrupt American-backed secular Egyptian regime he began to focus on the ‘’far enemy”.
The Far Enemy is America; because it is America who backs all of the regimes which have been oppressing the Muslims. It is also America which is the military and commercial leader of the West, a civilization that has been at war with Islam on and off for the last 1400 years.
Taking the fight to America was not controversial because there was not a lot of love for America or anyone who seriously doubted the sinister nature of American involvement in the Muslim World; but because of the timing and tactics.
Timing. This was an issue many Muslims argued believing the Muslim ummah was too weak to take on America and that the reaction would be too great endure. The counter argument of bin Laden and his supporters was that Muslims had already defeated the Soviet Union and America did not have the stomach for a fight. It was also argued that fighting the puppet regimes was meaningless as long as they had a continual supply of American weapons and money so the source had to be attacked.
Tactics. The bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen was not that controversial for Islamists. It was a military target of a hostile force and thus fair game. However, subsequent attacks such as the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania proved to be controversial as they killed hundreds of innocent civilians (and many of them were Muslims).
In this stage bin Laden moved from someone supporting liberation struggles of oppressed Muslims holding widespread support in the Muslim World to engaging in a long and protracted game of asymmetrical warfare with a Superpower. Some of the tactics many Muslims find to be illegitimate and unlawful. With regards to timing though in the 90’s leading up to 2001 the global Islamic Awakening was still in strong shape and had not provoked a huge reaction from the West.
What happened on September 11, 2011 no one knows for certain. Many believe that Usama bin Laden and his organization were responsible for the attacks that took the lives of nearly 3000 Americans. I am not one of those people as I have never seen sufficient evidence of proof against the man while uncovering many more facts that lead me to believe there is a lot more to the story and many dark and sinister forces were at play. To be clear, if this was the crowning achievement of the life of bin Laden he did not claim credit for it. One would think he would have mentioned 9-11 in numerous videos, penned articles on the topic, and gloated over the attack. Yet, that did not happen. There is only one highly unconvincing video in which America claims bin Laden takes responsibility.
Whether he was responsible for 9-11 or not he became public enemy number one in America and served as the galvanizing force to return the West to its original position as a civilization based primarily on its opposition to Islam.
Since 9-11 carnage has ensued. A new Crusade by any other name. This time Jerusalem did not have to be taken because it is already occupied. Iraq and the great city of Islam Baghdad drowned in the blood spilled by Americans. Afghanistan faced on invasion worse than that of the Soviets. No Muslim activist is safe anywhere. Predator Drones hover over the Muslim World ready to attack at will. Dungeons of tyrants are filled with the pious. Muslim men disappear in the middle of the night to torture and secret prisons with their only crime wanting a better world for their Muslim children.
The Swiss have banned the Minaret, the French have banned the Niqaab, the British have targeted their Muslim population, and in Europe a political career can now be made by bashing Muslims. America is at war with any Muslim, in any country, seeking to establish an Islamic State. In the Muslim World a cycle of pathological violence and killing emerged in many societies. Some of these atrocities were committed in the name of al Qaeda. Make no mistake, these actions were horrific and un-Islamic such as bombing shrines, mosques, churches, and markets; but did bin Laden ever authorize or call for these actions? This is unclear.
The airwaves in America are now filled with those who curse Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). A full-time industry of Islamophobia has been created. Adapting to the new climate those Muslim organizations and leaders in America who were once strong are now weak. When the time came for a test they proved to be weak and not have the courage to speak truth to power. Rather, like Judas, sold their Muslim brothers out not for silver but for iftar meals at the State Department and White House, the government off their back, and government sponsored trips.
A new Islam has been created in America. One, not inspired by the Quran and Sunnah, but rather by the CIA, FBI and secular academia. An Islam with no teeth, no courage, and no message, subservient to the rule of the master. These organizations vary, some being for secular liberal New Age yuppies, others merely being get rich schemes for Muslim televangelists, and others just being tools of the State. What they all have in common is that none of them pose any kind of threat to the powers that be or give a message of hope and liberation to the masses. None of them call on the courage of the Muslim man; but rather seek to change Islam at any and every turn to please their masters. In the shadows however, small groups of Muslim families gather here and there, dedicated to the Quran and Sunnah and shunning the spotlight and sanction of the State.
The Death of Usama bin Laden
It is too early to judge the story that has came out in the last few days regarding the death of bin Laden. A lot of questions remain such as;
- If you had Usama bin Laden, the biggest terror mastermind in the world, and the most wanted man, why in the world would you kill him? Surely you could interrogate him and find out about current plots, how he is getting money, where he has been sending money, and who is in his organization.
- Just within a couple of days the official story given by the American government has already changes several times.
- If the story is true then the treatment of the body of Usama bin Laden constitutes a crime. To be dumped in the ocean when you have died on land is not in keeping with Islamic law. There was no proper ghusl, no Salat-ul-Janazah, and no burial in the ground. Why not let the media see the body and within hours he could have had a proper Muslim burial? If the US was told this was a proper way to bury a Muslim who gave them this advice? Or is this all just a farce and the story of the body being thrown in the ocean part of a cover-up?
Muslims in America seeking to gain favor and enter the American mainstream (Sodom and Gomorrah) have issued statements praising the alleged death of bin Laden. Some Muslims have even publicly celebrated. How much of this is genuine and how much is some kind of an act to earn brownie points one never knows, but it is repulsive nonetheless. It is not becoming to celebrate the death of a fellow human, much less a fellow Muslim who worked so tirelessly on behalf of fellow Muslims. Usama fought for you, maybe he even died for you.
It should be noted that in the public celebrations amongst Americans a lot of sickening things have been observed. Cursing of Islam and Muslims, desecrations of the Quran, cursing of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the use of racial slurs. These celebrations have shown the ugly side of America similar to the celebrations that would emerge after the lynching of black men in the South.
Like everyone else Usama bin Laden will be judged on the Day of Judgment for his deeds and Allah is The Judge. He is my Muslim brother and a part of our big family. For what he did wrong I pray for his forgiveness and for what he did right I pray for his reward. If he was behind airplanes being hijacked and blown up that is a major sin and he will have to answer for that not to Umar Lee or Muhammad Maged or the FBI, but to Allah.